What is an archetype for Marquis Evremonde in A Tale Of Two Cities?Include textual evidence and analysis

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Marquis de Evremonde fits the "Villain" archetype in Charles Dicken's A Tale of Two Cities

Dickens' Marquis suits the role perfectly, even in physical detail.  His eyes are described as giving "a look of treachery, and cruelty, to the whole countenance" (Book 2, Chapter 7).   The Marquis' actions, however, reveal his penchant for cruelty which firmly place him in the villain archetype. 

Upon leaving the grand Monseigneur's party, the Marquis instructs his driver to drive quickly down the streets, because:

It appeared, under the circumstances, rather agreeable to him to see the common people dispersed before his horses, and often barely escaping from being run down.

Certainly the actions of a villain, Marquis takes out his frustrations on innocent bystanders which culminates in the senseless death of a small boy.  Even so, if the Marquis had shown the slightest bit of consternation at the dreadful result of his action, he might have been redeemable, but he does not.  His pitiless reaction to the child's death is one of the cruelest scenes in the novel.

Monsieur the Marquis ran his eyes over them all, as if they had been mere rats come out of their holes.

He took out his purse.

"It is extraordinary to me," said he, "that you people cannot take care of yourselves and your children. One or the other of you is for ever in the way. How do I know what injury you have done my horses. See! Give him that."

Dicken's masterful characterization through detail, action, and dialogue truly reveal Marquis de Evremonde as a despicable villain in A Tale of Two Cities.

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A Tale of Two Cities

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